Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele said he would work with law enforcement agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corruption and Other Related Crimes Commission to discourage and prosecute large withdrawals.
He said so while briefing the press after the launch of new naira notes in Abuja on Wednesday.
At the briefing, Emefiele said the amount that can be withdrawn at the counter would be significantly reduced, adding that large withdrawals would require multiple procedures to track usage and security his checks. .
This will ensure a steady transition to a cashless economy, he said.
“There is no economy imbued with the thinking that it has to be a cash economy; the world has moved from predominantly cash to a cashless economy. And I think Nigeria and the Central Bank of Nigeria are prepared to move towards a cashless economy. And that is why following the redesign and issuance of this note, we will insist that cashless will be nationwide.
“We will restrict the volume of cash that people can withdraw over the counter. If you need to draw large volumes of cash, you will fill out uncountable forms; we will take your data, whether it’s your BVN or NIN so that our law enforcement agencies like EFCC and ICPC can follow you and be sure that you are taking that money for a good purpose.”
The CBN Governor further argued that the new move is not targeted at anyone while noting that the past attempts to redesign the naira notes were resisted.
According to him, “The Central Bank of Nigeria, by law, has the mandate to reissue and redesign currency for the country, and for Nigerian people, every five to eight years. And I want to hope that after the event of today, the Central Bank of Nigeria can take it as part of its programmes to see that the currencies are designed or reissued every five to eight years.
“It is mainly because the central bank should be able to control the size of currency in circulation fully. That is the actual mandate of the Central Bank of Nigeria because it has implications for monetary policy management in the country.
“There is no need for anybody to think this program is targeted at anyone. Like you heard the President, he said, this discussion to redesign and reissue currency started early in the year.”